What stereotypical extroverts need to know about introverts

Ever heard the inspiring saying “Be yourself because you are unique”? Admirably introverts don’t have an issue being quiet themselves, but they have been tolerating preconceived negative biases about their personality traits for centuries. In this blog, I clear out some of the common preconceived notions about introverts.

The serenity and decorum of introverts are often confused with intolerance or self-righteousness. I’ve had people ask me if it’s ok to swear in front of me, but they would not ask the others at the same table. This can be perceived as a good thing, but it is stereotypical. Introverts are liberal. Some introverts swear, vent out loud, and are rudely humorous, mostly behind closed doors. They do it differently because they’re introverts. Introverts are assertive when need be, don’t be surprised when the quietest guy in the office tells you where to get off.

Introverts are not the first to talk in group meetings, and people might confuse this for shyness or incompetence. However, if one stops to notice, an introvert’s passion and pride are loudly evident in the work they quietly deliver. Introverts effectively contribute towards company goals which are sometimes overlooked. Introverts exude confidence differently compared to boisterous people.

I believe one of the many reasons South Africa’s most powerful rights activist, Nelson Mandela, survived 27 years alone in a tiny prison cell was due to his personality style. He was an introvert. During Nelson Mandela’s time in prison, he wrote heartfelt, inspiring letters to his family, which displayed his “game-changer” leadership qualities. Similar to Nelson Mandela, introverts can lead powerfully but quietly from backstage.

Most introverts naturally take time to process their surroundings and think things through, hence the delay in response. This delayed reaction is regularly mistaken for timidity or a lack of knowledge because introverts are misunderstood, and society does not take the introversion personality traits into consideration.

Introverts have different brain chemistry than extroverts. Introverts engage in “observing”, hence busy minds rather than busy mouths.

When I was a teenager, I attended a weekend away with our church youth. I often wandered off alone to quiet, peaceful places. One day during my solitude-seeking escape, I saw a peculiar moth, the size of a dinner plate, perfectly disguised in the parched dry winter grass. Since I seek tranquillity in viewing nature’s beauty, this giant, unique creature was easy to spot. I was fascinated. Excitedly, I returned to camp and endeavored to explain it to my gregarious friends, but they were too busy to hear me out. Sadly they missed an exotic sight. Introverts acknowledge everything around them, I believe that introverts see amazing, beautiful things that extroverts might miss.

Most introverts do not enjoy the limelight, they rather magnify the beauty around them, instead of magnifying themselves. So if you’re looking for some encouragement, reach out to an introvert.

To the stereotypical extroverts out there, quit the assumptions. I urge you to take the time to stop and “notice” the roses. There was once an experiment done which demonstrated that extroverts pay most attention to human faces, while introverts paid attention to both human faces and flowers🌷. (source:https://www.livescience.com/8500-brains-introverts-reveal-prefer.html)

Society must stop the introversion biases, stop associating introversion with uncomfortableness, isolation, incompetence, or unhappiness. For an introvert, “happiness” is connected with satisfaction and fulfillment with “life” as opposed to extraversion.

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